Lancaster Cemetery to support Wreaths Across America project

Lancaster City Councilman Ken Mann places luminaries at the Lancaster Cemetery in honor of his father, Clifford Mann, during the 2018 ceremony. (Photograph by Alisha Semchuk)

The Antelope Valley Cemetery District Board of Trustees, Dave Owens, Richard Cook and Cynthia Poole, and the Friends of the Lancaster Cemetery have once again teamed up with Wreaths Across America as part of a nationwide remembrance ceremony to take place at Lancaster Cemetery at 9 a.m., Dec. 14.

“We are proud and honored to be participating in this national event to pay tribute to our veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms each of us in our Country enjoy,” said Owens, chairman, Board of Trustees. 

The goal of Wreaths Across America is to recognize the service and sacrifice of our veterans by honoring them with a wreath at their graves during the holidays. Individuals or businesses may sponsor a fresh balsam wreath for only $15.

The Wreaths Across America story began when Worcester Wreath Company (a for-profit commercial business from Harrington, Maine) began a tradition of placing wreaths on the headstones of our Nation’s fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery during the holidays. But as word spread, the mission to Remember; Honor; and Teach about the sacrifices made by our veterans has captured the hearts and minds of many communities across the country.

With nearly 1,000 veterans interred at Lancaster Cemetery, Cemetery manager DeBry said this is a perfect way to honor them.

“If you have ever been to Arlington National Cemetery in the winter time you will see row after row of headstones adorned with beautiful green wreaths with large red bows against the white snow,” she said. “With help from Friends of the Lancaster Cemetery and the local community, our goal is to provide wreaths to adorn every veteran’s grave and every Gold Star mother and father’s grave at Lancaster Cemetery. We want to make sure every veteran is honored with a wreath.”

Holiday wreaths mark the graves of veterans buried at the Lancaster Cemetery in 2018. The annual placing of the wreaths is part of the national campaign, Wreaths Across America. (Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds)

Also scheduled is a luminary display called, “A Thousand Lights, One Spirit.”

The ceremony will begin at 4 p.m., Dec. 14 at the Lancaster Cemetery Veterans Court of Honor with the luminaries being lit by volunteers at 4:15 p.m. beginning at the west flagpole area — weather permitting. 

“The luminary display that we have done in conjunction with Wreaths Across America has really caught the imagination of the community,” commented Owens. “I am so grateful that Lancaster City Councilman Ken Mann has volunteered to sponsor the display in honor of his father, Clifford Mann, who served in World War II as a Staff Sergeant for the Army Air Corps.  I hope many Antelope Valley residents will come out to enjoy and participate in this beautiful display.”

The ceremony and candle lighting will be open to the public, weather permitting.  The community may drive or walk through the cemetery until 8 p.m.

Anyone may sponsor a wreath for $15 by stopping by Lancaster Cemetery and filling out a sponsorship form at the cemetery office. Businesses and individuals are welcome to sponsor 10 wreaths for $150 or 100 for $1,500.

Wreaths may also be sponsored online at Sponsors must enter the location ID CALCDL for Lancaster Cemetery and the group ID number CA0082P for Friends of the Lancaster Cemetery.

For more information, contact DeBry at 661-942-6110.